The noise that I experience is more of a whine which is definitely intensified by any steering action. My fluid level is good, and I don't think the fluid has ever been contaminated by any shops - I do my own oil changes. The only work that was ever done on this was a factory recall which replaced a hose in the PS system (apparently found to be a potential fire hazard if a leak developed above the hot exhaust manifold.) I'd like to believe that the dealership wouldn't have messed this up and contaminated the fluid somehow.
Anyhow, the whine problem has become more frequent, so I purchased one of those mechanics stethoscopes at Harbor Freight Tools. Each of the bearings have a certain unique sound, but clearly the noise of the PS Pump is closest to what I hear inside the van when the problem presents itself. I've also found that I can aggrevate the power steering pump into making this noise if I drive around the block in 1st gear so the engine revs at about 3000rpm for a short time. After this, the whine (or moan sound) seems to persist for a few minutes.
I'm interested in this idea of replacing the fluid reservoir - sounds way cheaper than a new PS pump. Pherdog, from what I've described, does it sound like replacing the fluid reservoir is a potential fix for mine?
(Also, is there a way to post an audio file .mp3 to this post? If so, maybe I'll try to record the sound - yes, I'm having second thoughts on that "whine" vs. "groan" question....)
Last edited by stratman2; 11-03-2008 at 05:41 PM.